20 December 2011

Dear Mom,

It has been 6 months and 3 days since you died. How can that be? What was it like, that first morning, those first days without you here? 

I have been writing, Mom, I have spent time with my brothers, I haven't seen Poppy enough, I have been to weddings, I went to Zac's first birthday party on Sunday and when I saw Jane (it was the first time since Shiva, I think I was afraid) I cried, I had brunch with Lisa, I went to Petey's Turkey Federation Family Day, I saw a man who was hit by a car and died.

Mom, I don't know how this has changed me. I know what I can see now, that I couldn't see then. I know that what I feel is beyond emotion: it comes from my body, my body that came from yours. I want to hear your voice, I want to watch tv with you in bed, I want to hold your hand. Mom, you are dead, but why can't I call you? We build towers into the sky, we have been to the moon, but this is the impenetrable loss that cannot be triumphed. So I write to you, Mom, I send you millions of kisses, I eat oatmeal and I think of you, I get under piles of blankets and I think of you, I open my eyes in the morning and I think of you. I want to eat toast and peanut butter in the morning with you, drink your coffee with cinnamon, sitting at the kitchen table, the phone ringing non-stop (everyone loved you!). Mom, it was hard for me, in those last months, to share you. I wanted to shout that you were mine, ours, my mother! I know that I am so lucky to have had a mother who was so loved, but I wanted you to myself. There was so much that I didn't get to ask you. What did you use ammonia for? What was your recipe for stuffed mushrooms? How did it feel to know you were dying? That was the hardest question, Mom, and the question you didn't want us to ask, the question you didn't want to share with your children, but when we asked, you told us, for you were always honest. One night, you said to me, "The girls were so sad today." I asked, "What about you?" and you said, "Me? I'm not too sad." It was so hard to watch old friends cry when they came to say goodbye to you. I couldn't do it. But it gave me peace to know you weren't too sad. It gave me peace to know that you were at peace. I know you felt you would be with your parents again, with your mother, that a few months before you died, you told Adam that you felt them tugging at your toes. Mom, I will be with you again one day, and that gives me peace. 

Mommy, I love you and I miss you from so deep inside. All I want is what I will never have. I want you, I want you back. I would trade all these words, I would give anything. I think these words worry some - that I am not okay, I am not moving on. I am not okay, I am not moving on, but, I am okay, I am moving on. I owe you my best life. Mom, I know you would understand this: what would it mean if I did not feel this way? How could I not be decimated by losing my mother? How did you raise 3 small children in the wake of your mother's death, your mother who you loved like I love you? This is the gamble of love: those you love might leave, those you love will die. I take that gamble. I choose love, like you chose love.

Mom, I would give anything to hear your voice again. Every day, this mourning, this grieving changes, but I cannot imagine a day when I will not miss you. That's the great rub of it all - I will move forward, I will grow, and I will change, and with every movement, you will not be here. You will never be here again. We will never be together again, Mom. Except, you told me and you are my mother, and I believe you, you said it! I will be with you always, except for the private moments. Be with me always, Mom. I need you. We need you.

I love you.

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